Preparations for this trip began back in July when we planned a little four day bike tour through the
Berkshires. We made the very rational decision that if we could handle the wild roads and mountainous terrain of Western Massachusetts, then we could definitely tackle the Andes. Neither of us had much experience planning a bike trip, so we picked a relatively mellow circular route starting in Williamstown. We rode to Northampton, across to Bash Bish Falls in the southwest corner of Massachusetts (the highest waterfall in MA, so kind of a big deal), and then back north to Williamstown.
The “training” trip was a huge success. We only made a couple of wrong turns (never when I was navigating, of course) and we out rode a tornado. In reality, the tornado only touched down in Springfield, but we still encountered extreme rain and multiple “Tornado Warnings” for the entire Western half of Massachusetts courtesy of the Weather Network. We also learned that there is no camping in State Reservations (which are not, in fact, the same as State Parks), but that if you plead with the ranger, he’ll probably let you camp anyways. The alternative was a motel five miles away that “probably has bed bugs.” Camping illegally was more appealing, even when we realized we forgot matches and couldn’t light our stove. So no dinner. It was a good first day
By day three we were pros. We learned that biking uphill is always fun, especially when you don’t know where the road will lead. We successfully carried a bottle of wine in our panniers up a mountain without breakage. And on the subject of bike touring cuisine, we learned that red wine pairs wonderfully with Ramen.
Most importantly though, we never complained. Ever.